We’ve got some big gender reveal news coming out of Lincoln Park Zoo: All three of the zoo’s new lion cubs are male.
The zoo’s veterinary staff made the discovery during the 6-week-old cubs’ first health checkup this week. The little ones also received their first vaccinations and were microchipped for future identification. Weighing just two pounds at birth, the cubs are already tipping the scales at 15 to 18 pounds.
Up to this point, staff have been monitoring the cubs and their mom Zari via remote cameras.
“Zari has been an incredible mother thus far and the goal is not to intervene with the cubs unless medically necessary,” said Dr. Kathryn Gamble, director of veterinary medicine. “These preventive health exams are the first time, and probably the only time, staff will have directed contact with the cubs.”
The youngsters remain off-exhibit and have yet to be introduced to the rest of the zoo’s lion pride, which includes dad Jabari and big brother Pilipili. Zari’s behavior will indicate when she’s ready for the cubs to mingle with the pride.
Recently zoo staff have observed Zari spending occasional “me time” outdoors with the pride, because, as many new moms can appreciate, sometimes she needs a break from the cubs.